Have you ever watched a film and thought afterwards that you'd just
witnessed someone's idea of a prank? That's how I felt after watching
Kevin Smith's Tusk.
Justin Long, Michael Parks, and Haley Joel Osment
Bryton (Justin Long) is an American podcaster who, along with
his assistant, Teddy (Haley Joel Osment,) brings his listeners "real
and raunchy" humor every week by interviewing hapless individuals he
finds online. When his most recent interview subject - a man who cut
off his own leg imitating sword play from Kill Bill - dies from his
injuries, Wallace finds himself in the middle of the Canadian
countryside desperate to find someone interesting to interview for his
While in the bathroom of a bar, Wallace spies a
handbill from a man offering free room and board to anyone willing to
come and listen to his adventure stories. Seeing this as an opportunity
to save this week's show, Wallace calls the number on the flyer and
travels to meet Howard Howe (Michael Parks), a strange, reclusive man
who lives in a large house in Bifrost, Manitoba.
regales Wallace with bizarre tales of meeting with Hemingway at D-Day,
hunting a great white shark in the Chukchi Sea, and, in his most
unusual story, being saved by a walrus when his ship struck an iceberg
and sank. Wallace is intrigued but cannot stay awake. He finally passes
out and awakens to find himself missing his left leg. It seems the Mr.
Howe is not simply an old man with tales to tell. He also wants to
create a human version of his walrus savior.
Kevin Smith gets some surprisingly compelling
performances considering the whacked-out subject matter. I wondered
where someone would get an idea to make a film like this, especially
someone of Kevin Smith's caliber. It turns out I was right to think
this was a joke.
around through the end credits, I found that the idea came from one of
Smith's own podcasts. Smith and Scott Mosier, his longtime friend and
associate, came up with the idea as a joke and asked their listeners to
vote on whether it should be turned into a movie or not. The fact that
I am writing this review is proof positive that Smith no longer is an
inspired filmmaker but a spoiled rich kid who makes movies on a whim
simply because he can.
Tusk is neither
funny nor disturbing. It's just disappointing.
In this film, there is a character called the "Kill Bill Kid." The
character Howard Howe is played by Michael Parks, who was also in both
of Taratino's "Kill Bill" films. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)